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Australia: Autumn surveillance round for tomato potato psyllid complete

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development in West Australia has wrapped up autumn surveillance for the tomato potato psyllid (TPP), with no detections of a damaging plant bacteria associated with the pest. Department acting horticulture director Rohan Prince said it marked completion of the third surveillance round in WA since the pest insect was detected in Perth in February[Read[Read More…]

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Sped-up spuds to fit modern, busy, on-the-go lifestyles

Tasteful Selections LLC, a specialty potato brand consisting of family growers from California, Nevada, and Arizona, is a joint venture of Wisconsin-based farming entities RPE, CSS Farms, and Plover River Farms Alliance Inc. Uniquely, it aims to contemporize the starchy staple to fit modern, busy, on-the-go lifestyles.  Since its inception in 2010, Tasteful Selections has sought to push potatoes into[Read[Read More…]

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Potato beetle resistance brewing in Canada

The battle against Colorado potato beetle is becoming more difficult every season. It’s not a new problem. As early as 2014, producer groups were already warning that Colorado potato beetles were becoming increasingly resistant to neonicotinoids. Four years later, the problem has not gone away and, in some patches of the province, has arguably got worse. High beetle populations made their way into[Read[Read More…]

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US: Big crops, trucking woes hurting spud prices

A big 2017 crop of tablestock potatoes and trucking woes have led to lower prices and concerns about how northern Red River Valley storage sheds still filled with spuds will be emptied in coming weeks. “In June, we’ll have a feel for it,” says Paul Dolan, general manager and chief executive officer for Associated Potato Growers in Grand Forks, of the[Read[Read More…]

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Agrico managed to expand in all markets

Dutch potato cooperative Agrico says it has managed to expand its market share “in all markets” as prices for seed potatoes continue to improve towards the end of the current season. With strengthening demand for chipped potatoes (french fries) in north-west Europe and a good balance between supply and demand in overseas markets – despite certain political and financial challenges –[Read[Read More…]

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PepsiCo to introduce Australian deli potato chips to US consumers

PepsiCo is set to bring the Australian potato chip brand Red Rock Deli to the US for the first time. The US Red Rock Deli brand will join PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, and the brand’s initial product range will include three flavours of potato chips: Red Curry and Coconut, Himalayan Pink Salt and Lime and Cracked Pepper. Made with rough-cut potatoes and cooked[Read[Read More…]

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Mapping a new frontier: Potatoes and precision agriculture

Potatoes may, in many ways, be the perfect candidate for precision agriculture. They’re a high-volume, high-value and high-input crop and the industry has already invested more than other sectors in soil and drainage mapping, variable rate technology and management zones, according to one agronomist who works closely with potato growers. Trevor Thornton’s Crop Care Consulting in Canada says all these factors, and[Read[Read More…]

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CropLife Canada: Consumer confidence towards biotech improving, but fear of pesticides still out there

Consumer confidence in government regulations around biotechnology is improving, according to CropLife Canada polling in the country. “We’re finding the attitudes of Canadians about biotechnology is really getting better,” says Dennis Prouse, vice president, government affairs, CropLife Canada. “Our actual research finds that Canadian attitudes have taken a good jump forward, and I think that’s largely due to the unblemished safety[Read[Read More…]

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Research indicates serious impacts of climate change on future PCN infestations in Britain

A risk assessment of the threat of PCN species under future climates is essential to guide adaptation strategies, according to scientists who published the results of their research in the journal Plant Pathology. Data defining the spatial coverage of potato crops in Great Britain were combined with probabilistic climate change data and a newly developed PCN life cycle model to[Read[Read More…]

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EU member states support near-total neonicotinoids ban

Member states have voted in favour of an almost complete ban on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides across the EU. Scientific studies have long linked their use to the decline of honeybees, wild bees and other pollinators. The move represents a major extension of existing restrictions, in place since 2013. Manufacturers and some farming groups have opposed the move, saying the science remains[Read[Read More…]

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British potato stocks high, but marketing season may extend

The stocks of potatoes held by growers at the end of March totalled 1.3Mt according to an Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board estimate. This is a similar level to the same period in 2015 and approximately 300Kt more than the 2017 estimate. It comes as no surprise following the high production figures of 6.04Mt seen in 2017. Amber Cottingham, analyst at AHDB[Read[Read More…]

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Advanced ICT technology applied at potato farms in South Korea

It is expected that potato farmers in South Korea will see their income and productivity improving through the application of advanced Information and Communications (ICT) solutions, establishing “smart” farms. SK Telecom, Orion and SMARF signed a business agreement at the Orion potato contract farm in Gyeongbuk province on April 25th to provide ‘intelligent irrigation and water management solutions to potato farms[Read[Read More…]

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Bayer launches digital farming solution for field crops

Bayer has launched its xarvio Field Manager in five countries – Germany, France, Austria, Poland, and Ukraine. The new digital solution is for now available in field crops such as potato, wheat, barley, sugar beet and oilseed rape. Further expansion to other crops and countries is expected in the coming months. Field Manager will support European farmers in growing healthy crops by providing recommendations about the[Read[Read More…]

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New storage service launched for British potato growers

AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research has announced the launch of a new potato storage service called VarietyCheck for the forthcoming season. According to AHDB, new regulations on acrylamide and fewer sprout suppressants it is more important than ever to get the right storage conditions for your variety of choice. The new service will be tailored to crop variety and[Read[Read More…]

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New report: Consumers are moving away from old definitions of healthy potato snacks

Snacking is central to the strategy of food companies, with explosive growth in the number of new such products launched between 2010 and 2017: 125% in Europe and 47% in North America. According to a new report from New Nutrition Business, Strategies in Healthy Snacking, this also means that the healthy snacking segment is now an intensely competitive and crowded. “Companies[Read[Read More…]

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Embracing technology key to Australian potato grower’s success

Scott Rockliff knows a thing or two about potato growing. For six generations, the Rockliff family has been growing potatoes along the north-west coast of Tasmania in Sassafras, a 200-year old town renowned for its food and wine production. A lot has changed since Scott Rockliff’s ancestors established the original farm in the 1800s. Nowadays, innovation is a must – understanding the latest in technology required[Read[Read More…]

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Belaya Dacha Group and Lamb Weston / Meijer potato processing plant opened in Russia

Yesterday, a new potato processing plant was officially opened in Russia’s Lipetsk region, south of Moscow. This first Russian large-scale french fries production facility was built by a Joint Venture project of the Russian Belaya Dacha Group and Dutch based processor Lamb Weston / Meijer. The construction of the plant was subsidized by the Russian State Program for Agriculture Development. Local production of[Read[Read More…]

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Black dot a particular scourge of fresh market potato crops in GB this season

Black dot has been a particular scourge of fresh market crops this season, according AHDB Potatoes in the UK. Delayed harvesting has encouraged disease spread, increasing the crop’s exposure to infected soil and high levels of moisture. Here’s a reminder of why the problem has been so widespread. Black dot is a disease caused by Colletotrichum coccodes. There is evidence that[Read[Read More…]

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McDonald’s Russia turns to local fries from new processing plant, citing Western sanction woes

French fries at McDonald’s restaurants from Moscow to Murmansk will be Russian from now on, as the American fast-food chain turns to homegrown potatoes to deal with ruble volatility caused by fluctuating oil prices and Western sanctions. McDonald’s Corp, which opened in Russia in 1990 as the Soviet Union collapsed, has been gradually turning to local ingredients in its Russian outlets[Read[Read More…]

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Weed control goes digital: Advanced spot-spraying precision technology in development

Researchers are combining new digital tools, computer technologies and machine learning to bring cost-effective weed control solutions to the field. This weed control solution is being designed as an advanced spot-spraying precision technology that will help farmers reduce input costs and add another management tool to their integrated management systems. “We are developing a high-tech ground-based sensor technology as another cost-effective precision[Read[Read More…]

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Late sown potato crops could be vulnerable to blight

The potato blight season has got underway in Great Britain with blight found on dumps in Kent. While such reports are not unusual at this time of year, it is important to be aware of the infection risk posed by cull potato piles, volunteers and solanaceous weeds, says Dr David Cooke of the James Hutton Institute. “Last year we had very[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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